The site tree structure is "seen" by the user and often materializes in the menu system. A tree structure aims to know how we present our site's content to Internet users in the most logical way. Therefore, we can say that the logic of a tree structure is made to prioritize the content for the Internet user, and the architecture is made to classify the content for the search engines. In English, we speak of "information design", as opposed to "graphic design".
An example? A car manufacturer can have a tree structure for each car model, but its architecture (especially if it wants to push new mobility) will be around energies: traditional, hybrid, electric.
The key steps to designing your tree structure
1 / Take inventory of available content
Start writing whatever you need to post on your website. Absolutely everything! Product sheets, editorial, corporate information, blog elements, video, diagram. Without necessarily being in a page logic at this stage. Organization comes next. You can then group the available content into broad categories (5 or 6 maximum).
In insurance, we very often have:
> Insurance offers and products: P&C, Auto, Health, Savings
> "About" information: History, Shareholders, Agency addresses, Legal notices, etc.
> Prevention: health, weather alerts, relations with members and members
> The employer brand: HR, values, recruitment
> Connection to private areas: login, registration
> The quote/subscription tunnel: single or multiple depending on the products offered
At this point, you should also start to be in SEO logic and seek to identify the right keywords. SEMRush, PAA (People Also Ask in Google), or Yoda Insight will be your allies.
Start with one word, and the tool will offer you new ideas. This will be used to find headings and sub-headings to classify your pages. You will always have to arbitrate between the volume of requests and competition for the word in question.
Consider looking at the volume of monthly searches, as well as the level of competition. The must: expressions that generate many requests (at least 500 per month) and low competition.
2 / Benchmark the competition
The tree structure of your competitors is a fundamental source of information, if not inexhaustible. Why? If 10 of your competitors have redesigned their website in the past three years, you will benefit from their collective intelligence. In practice, you will check not forget a key idea or dimension in your sector. This will inspire you on the tree they have chosen without necessarily copying it. Still, in insurance, you will see that there are not a thousand ways to envision an efficient tree structure. A tool like Screaming Frog can help at this point.
3 / Organize your content
With all your content ready, the keywords identified, the SEO inputs, you will now organize the content according to 3 levels, the home page still being level 1. The goal is to make the information accessible in less than three clicks.
Two main principles co-exist:
The bottom-up approach consists of starting from each micro-content (or individual content - the page) identified in the first step, to gather them in mini-trees and go up as we go. The risk is to forget the transversal contents
- The top-down approach consists of starting from the home page and then going down little by little.
- The two approaches are complementary, and you will be doing a bit of both.
If SEO is fundamental for you (and for whom is it not?), It is at this stage that you will think about the famous semantic cocoons and the internal mesh. Contact a web design agency in Pakistan for a good design of your website.
4 / Draw the tree structure on paper or with ad-hoc software
The recommendation is to create a tree structure on a flipchart in co-construction mode with the PO (Product Owner) and key representatives of the structure (marketing, sales, IT, general management). This type of session can last several hours or span several sessions. Then you will go to programs like Sketch, Balsamiq or Cacoo or keep Powerpoint or Keynote if you're more comfortable.
5 / Finalize, think about SEO, and iterate!
Once the tree structure is finalized, you must compare it:
> Internally, making a final session to ensure that no content has been forgotten
> Externally, by imagining and listing the possible routes that your visitor will be able to take. Be careful; it will not necessarily arrive on the home (a well-referenced site only captures 20% of the traffic from home). Direct arrival on landing pages, product sheets, support area, etc., will be the key entry point.